4 Ways To Network Effectively

Posted: September 30, 2015

Networking is not just about the number of contacts but about a genuine interest in people and how they fit into your view of the world and your own work. Here are 4 ways to network effectively and be good at it.

A few days ago, I was an invited speaker for a session on ‘Making Your Network Your Net Worth.’ It was a pleasure and an honour to be on the stage, interact with an esteemed panel and connect with an interesting and diverse audience – at different stages and phases of their career trajectory.

The event will be memorable for me for a few reasons:

  • It was one of the opportunities that came my way purely due to my writing and my social media connections!
  • It was interesting to hear the narratives of many diverse individuals and what they endure on a daily basis to keep their life and career going.
  • It was one of the times when I have taken online relationships to the real-world.

Everyone will agree that networking is important, is powerful and can be a real game-changer as one navigates their career and life. Some of the key points I made at the event are below:

1.Be clear on why you want to network

Simply because in today’s world, it is so easy to connect with a zillion people  – especially on social media. If you don’t know why you are forming connections, there is only so much value you can derive from those connections. Be very specific on what you would want from people.

2. Plan and prioritise based on your context and circumstances

The value you can get from networking relationships varies based on the phase of life and career you find yourself in and the workplace environment you belong to, whether you are from a startup, a corporate structure or are self-employed. So plan and prioritise on the networks you’d like to build based on your context

3. Invest your time and energy

Any networking relationship is like a sapling. It needs to be nurtured.  You need to give them time and energy – in terms of ideas, inputs, conversations, comments, experiences, thoughts, connections, solutions, catalysts and face-time. The strength of networks is almost always linked to how much you invest in them. More the investment, more the returns!

4. Be prepared to give

All networking relationships are based on “give and take.” If you expect to leverage your networks for personal or professional interests, be prepared to also be leveraged by others. So you get as much as you give!

In the end, networking is all about a genuine interest in connecting with and understanding people. It doesn’t matter how many visiting cards you have in your pocket. Connect with people on a basic level and look at networking as a way of understanding and meeting more diverse people and learning about them.

Image via Shutterstock.

Working Mom • Marketologist - Digital Artisan - Brand Storyteller • Ideapreneur • Writer - Blogger - Columnist • IIMB Alumni • Mentor • Horizon

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